Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
With Faith, Hope, and Love, she brightened the world and impacted the lives of her family, her friends, and the children she taught. Janice Lee James Jowers, age 76, of Mary Esther, Florida, passed away on December 26, 2023, after a brief struggle with ovarian cancer.
She was born in Tallahassee, Florida on June 19, 1947, to Walter and Rachel James. From their idyllic home at James Pond Road, she learned the importance of love, music, education, and family. She attended Leon High School before studying education at Florida State University and moving to Fort Walton Beach, Florida to begin her teaching career.
While attending Florida State, Janice met the love of her life, Keith Jowers, and together they would build a world that she truly loved. She may or may not have snuck out of the house for their first double-date, but nobody with actual knowledge will fess up. They dated for three years before (as Keith would say) making it legal. The two were married on June 9, 1968, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida.
Janice and Keith couldn’t wait to start a family of their own, and their children meant the world to them. Alan was born in 1970; Kary followed shortly thereafter in 1972; and in 1978 Janice’s two little boys were joined by a baby girl, Kendra. Together, those five would enjoy the adventures of life including countless family trips to Tallahassee, van club convoys, midnights at Santa Rosa Mall tallying up the results of the Billy Bowlegs Midnight Run and participating in all manner of local sports and music events.
Though she loved teaching, singing, and creating lovely crafts with her hands, Janice’s favorite role was that as a grandmother. She treasured her time with her grandkids and loved being their Nana. She attended all their important events and cared for them in all the seemingly unimportant moments. She never failed to have a cold “Nana-water” ready for them when they came to her house. She was fortunate that all her grandchildren lived locally, and all of them, from age 4 to age 30, have their own special, personal relationship with their Nana.
Janice was passionate about her role as an elementary school teacher with the Okaloosa County School District. She taught 3rd grade at Wright Elementary School from 1969 to 2009. After her initial retirement, she was convinced to return to teaching for a few more years. It was an easy decision for her because she was able to teach some of her own grandchildren during that second stint. Some of her greatest friends in life were her fellow teachers from Wright Elementary, and she enjoyed the periodic lunches she and her fellow retired teachers would have.
In her retirement, Janice was also an active member of the Fort Walton Beach Community Chorus, devoting her time and energy to singing, ever filling her heart with delight.
Janice will always be remembered for her warm smile and the way that she loved on her friends and her family. Her favorite words were Faith, Hope and Love, and she embodied each of them. We could not have asked for a better Wife, Mother, and Nana, and we will miss Janice every single day. Her memory will live on in the hearts of all those who loved her.
Janice was preceded in death by her beloved parents Walter and Rachel James, her brother Bill James, her sister-in-law Iloni Franz James, and her infant grandson Joshua Alan Jowers. She is survived by her husband Keith Jowers; her children and their spouses, Alan and Kristi Jowers, Kary and Julie Jowers, and Kendra and Michael Bozard (Janice’s favorite conversation partner); eight grandchildren, Shelby, Clayton, Bethany, Emma Grace, Carolyn, Evelyn, Abigail and Victoria; and four siblings, Judy, Joneen, Steve and Jeff.
The family will host a celebration of life service on January 13, 2024, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Visitation begins at 12:00 pm, and the service begins at 1:00 pm with a small reception afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make contributions to the FWB Community Chorus Memorial Music Scholarship Fund in Janice’s memory.